Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My Nurse's Stethoscope and Why I Am Proud to Be a Nurse

The following was originally a post on my Facebook page, but many have requested that I place it here for a more permanent home. It is a response to the ladies of The View who made some hurtful and uneducated comments in regard to the monologue of Miss Colorado, who beautifully spoke of the importance of nurses.

I am saddened to browse my social media feeds and see The View co-hosts disparaging Miss Colorado, Kelley Johnson, for her monologue in which she proudly spoke of the importance of nurses. I am sorry for the uneducated view of nurses that these catty women have chosen to share with the world.

These women of The View have been given a massive audience to speak in front of. They sit, carefully made up and manicured in a comfortable chair in an air-conditioned studio, and use their voices to tear down and mock their fellow women.  We nurses do not often have such a wide-reaching voice. During our shifts we see only a handful of patients and their families, often in sweaty scrubs(which one host unkindly called a "costume") which are stained with the numerous bodily fluids of our patients, mentally and physically exhausted- and, yet, we choose to use our voices to educate, empower and to save the lives of our precious patients. We nurses, men and women alike, have chosen to be voices of kindness and compassion in a world that has often been cruel to our patients.

I am an educated, skilled, kind and compassionate nurse. In my nursing career my hands, often sore and dry from all of the hand washing between patients, have been the first to hold a baby new to this world and have been the last to comfort a patient who is leaving the world. I have made assessments and administered medicine and procedures which have both saved lives and improved them. I have used my stethoscope(not a 'doctor's stethoscope' as one host embarrassingly stated) so often that it feels like an extension of my body and have used that assessment tool to save lives.  I have witnessed humanity at it's absolute worst and it's redeeming best. I have given education to patients and their families that have led, in ways both big and small, to better lives for my patients and their families. I have done chest compressions for hours while allowing a family member to make it to the hospital while their loved ones' heart was still beating. I have held a mother for excruciating minutes in which she wailed an otherworldly scream and mourned for her dead child. I have held in my own emotions until the blissful moment when my shift is done and I can weep in my car until my eyes are raw, so much is my desire to save every patient.   I have borne witness to the very worst hours of the lives of many. I have spent overnights, weekends and holidays away from my own family,  ensuring that my patients get the care that they deserve even as I miss family dinners, my children's ballgames and birthday parties.  These hands will never be carefully manicured as the ladies on The View. Nor do I wish them to be, for the important work that is done by nurses cannot be done from a comfortable chair in a studio.

I hope for a day in which nurses are lauded for their great works. I have many co-workers and fellow nurses that are incredibly deserving of such recognition. Regardless of whether or not such a day comes, nurses will use their education, their hard-earned skills, their hearts, their compassion and their kindness to continue to make this world a better place. And, for that and many other reasons- I am damn proud to call myself a nurse.

8 comments:

  1. You ought to be proud. The work that you and your colleagues do is so important to so many people. I work nurses every day. Amazing people.

    I don't know anything about what the people in the air-conditioned studio said about nurses other than what I've read on your blog post. However, I'd rather have a cup of coffee (and spend my work day with nurses) than them.

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  2. Nicely said. I was so upset when I heard the comments that were made by Joy on The View. I have friends and family that are nurses and I was upset on their behalf because of her ignorance. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and linking up with us over at the Welcome Home Wednesdays Link Party.

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  3. Nurses are an intricate part of hospitals! I remember nurses taking such wonderful care for me when I was in the hospital for 12 days. I hardly even remember seeing the doctor!

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    1. I'm so glad you received wonderful care! Thank you for reading!

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  4. My best friend is an emergency nurse- you guys are amazing. I hate to see your profession diminished by such ignorance. Hats off to you!

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  5. I like your blog a lot. Its informative and full of information. Thank you for sharing.
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